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Can menopause affect medication absorption?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
As women age and go through normal bodily changes like menopause, this may change the way medications are used and absorbed. These normal body changes can actually cause medications to work differently as our bodies age. For example, you generally lose muscle mass as you age and that may affect how long medications stay in your body.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Everyone processes medications differently. And hormones such as estrogen do play a role. We know this because there are many gender differences in drug pharmacology. So when a woman loses estrogen during menopause, she may need more or less of medicines she has been taking to keep them effective or to reduce potential toxicity. However, this effect has not been studied extensively, so just keep tabs on your symptoms and any side effects you are experiencing and talk to your doctor.

With normal body changes during menopause, medicines can work differently, especially with the absorption of the medication. As we age and begin to lose muscle mass, this affects the way that medications are absorbed into the body. Also, if our percentage of fat increases, that can affect how medications are also absorbed. It is important to talk with your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking so dosages and effectiveness can be monitored.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.